When Do You Talk About Gun Ownership in a Relationship?

Some people have problems that require the delicate advice of a qualified professional. Others just need a random guy on the internet to kick them in the teeth (i.e. honestly). I am the last one. Welcome back to Tough Love .

This week we have a man dating a woman who is openly opposed to guns. The problem is that he himself is the secret owner of the weapon.

Note: I am by no means a therapist or medical professional. People ask for my advice, and I give them. End of transaction. If you have any problems, please submit a formal complaint here . Now that this doesn’t get in the way, let’s continue.

Hi, Patrick,

So I’m in a strange position. I have been dating a wonderful young woman for about two months, and we have the same views on everything, except for one little thing.

She is against weapons. She said something like “Yes, I want to take your weapon.” The problem is that I like to own and use a gun on the range, I have gone hunting in the past and I find that putting a blanket away is not the best solution. I also have a few family antique guns that I treasure. The problem is that I didn’t tell her, mainly because we hadn’t seen each other for so long. When is it appropriate to start broadcasting disagreements on such sensitive topics?

Thanks! Not Anti-Gun

Hey, not the enemy:

The sooner you start talking about it in a relationship, the better. To be honest, it looks like you already had the opportunity to openly talk about it, but you did not take it. This is a mistake, NAG. I understand that you hesitate to tell her – this is not really an icebreaker for a first date – but there are some things you need to seriously think about before you continue to hide it.

First, you don’t give her any doubts. You assume that disagreeing on this issue means that you will ultimately be unable to find a middle ground, or simply “agree to disagree”. Yes, weapons are a very hot topic right now and she once said that she wanted to “take your weapon”, but have you ever wondered that maybe you can train her and maybe convince her to rethink her position towards something- what is less extreme? You have the opportunity to start a dialogue here, where you both can learn something about the other side. Maybe, in her understanding, all guns are nothing more than killing machines, and not the hunting, target shooting and family heirlooms that they mean to you. Being an opponent of a weapon does not necessarily mean being an opponent of all weapons, just as being an opponent of a gun does not necessarily mean an opponent of all weapons. And if it really bothers any of you, there is no point in wasting time, right?

Secondly, no one will like to be faced with a weapon hidden in your home, especially a woman who is opposed to a weapon and does not know that you have one . Red flag, bro! According to the CDC , nearly one in three women experiences violence in their lifetime, and often this violence is domestic violence. Add to that the fact that having a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the likelihood of killing a woman by 500%, and that doesn’t look good. These are frightening characteristics – and she probably knows some of them. I’m not saying that you are the offender or a murderer – I think you’re very responsible gun owner – but in the sense of the word, you still might have to become! Think about it from her perspective. She hasn’t known you for so long, and as far as she knows, you’ve been honest with her. If she notices a couple of pistols in your closet, she will wonder why you never told her about them (technically not true) and chances are she will get scared. So it’s best to be honest and as soon as possible.

Now that you have finally brought this up, NAG, explain how you see your weapons and what they mean to you. Be honest about your position on gun ownership and that you do not want to be removed completely for [reasons]. Tell her that you use and store your firearms safely, with locks and jazz like it (I hope you do), and tell her how you got it (knowing that they were all legally acquired can save you some discomfort). After all, she might know more about your great-grandfather’s old hunting rifle than the AR-15 with its extra long clip and bump stop.

Look, it may not work. If she’s so passionate about the topic, she might leave as soon as you tell her that you are the owner of the weapon. But being honest about who you are and what you believe is right when you are dating. In the future, you may not need to be open about your stance on guns on a first date or anything like that, but if it comes up naturally in a conversation, as it was with this girl, don’t hide the truth.

That’s all for this week, but I still have a lot of frank and honest advice. Tell me what is bothering you? Maybe I can help. I probably won’t make you feel warm and misty inside, but sometimes you need tough love. Ask a question in the comments below or email me at the address you see at the bottom of the page ( please include “TIP” in the subject line ). Or tweet me #ToughLove ! Also, DO NOT E-MAIL ME IF YOU DO NOT WANT YOUR INQUIRY FUNCTIONAL AND PLEASE KEEP IT SHORT . I don’t have time to answer everyone for fun. “Until next time, figure it out yourself.


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